How to choose the right sales pipeline tool

Ditch Sales Pipeline Tool overwhelm! This guide helps you pick the perfect one for your team. Boost sales & optimize your funnel for consistent wins.


Imagine a map that helps you lead customers to become loyal patrons. This is the main purpose of a sales pipeline. This article explores everything you need to know about sales pipeline tools, their categories, and what to look for in a good sales pipeline tool.

What is a sales pipeline

A sales pipeline is a visual representation of a prospect's journey, from initial brand awareness to the coveted designation of a closed deal. Each stage involves specific activities that the salesperson performs to maintain the prospect's interest and guide them towards making a purchase. These activities are designed to engage the prospect and encourage them to move further along the sales process. By completing these tasks, the salesperson can build a relationship with the prospect and increase the likelihood of closing a sale. The goal is to gradually move the prospect through each stage until they are ready to make a purchase.

Formaloo - The best sales pipeline tools

You can leverage a sales pipeline tool to improve sales forecasting and streamline your sales processes for optimal efficiency.

How a well-defined sales pipeline helps you

A well-defined sales pipeline serves as the lifeblood of any sales organization. It offers a plethora of advantages:

Sales transparency

A clear visual representation of your sales pipeline builds transparency within your sales team. Everyone has a bird's-eye view of deal progress, potential roadblocks, and upcoming opportunities.

Sales forecasting

You can generate more accurate sales forecasts by analyzing historical data within your pipeline. This empowers you to make informed decisions regarding resource allocation and budget planning.

Streamlined sales processes

A well-defined pipeline establishes a standardized approach to sales, ensuring consistency and repeatability throughout the sales cycle.

Clearly defined stages

A robust pipeline visualizes a prospect's sequential steps, like lead generation, lead qualification, proposal stage, negotiation, and closure. Each stage should be clearly defined based on specific criteria for prospect progression.

Accurate data

The effectiveness of your pipeline relies on the accuracy of data stored in it. This includes capturing and maintaining prospect information, deal sizes, timelines, and relevant communication history.

Data-driven decisions

A well-constructed pipeline empowers sales leadership to gain valuable insights and make data-driven decisions. Analyze win and loss ratios to identify strengths and weaknesses within your sales process. Leverage this knowledge to optimize your approach and maximize sales success.

Key functionalities of sales pipeline tools

In the past, managing a sales pipeline often resembled wrangling a herd of unruly cats – a chaotic and time-consuming endeavor. However, the advent of sales pipeline tools has ushered in a new era of streamlined efficiency.

Sales pipeline tools are specifically designed to streamline the management and visualization of your sales pipeline. They offer a plethora of functionalities that empower sales teams to function at peak efficiency.

Visual pipeline management

Sales pipeline tools provide a clear visual representation of your pipeline, enabling sales reps to track the progress of deals at a glance. Imagine a dynamic dashboard that displays each deal's position within the pipeline, potential value, and upcoming milestones.

You can eaily visualize your sales pipeline using Formaloo. It provides an intutive interface, easy for everyone to drag and drop the pipeline stages, edit them, and shape them based on your requirements.

Deal forecasting

Leverage the power of historical data to forecast future sales performance with a higher degree of accuracy. Sales pipeline tools can analyze trends and identify patterns within your sales cycle, empowering you to make data-driven predictions about future closed dealls.

Task automation

Sales pipeline tools can automate mundane tasks such as sending follow-up emails, scheduling meetings, and data entry. This frees up valuable time for sales reps, allowing them to focus on building relationships and closing deals.


Enabling real-time communication and data sharing regarding deals and prospects builds seamless collaboration within sales teams. Imagine a platform where sales representatives can share notes, updates, and relevant documents on specific deals, ensuring everyone is on the same page.

Reporting and analytics

Generate insightful reports that illuminate sales trends, pinpoint roadblocks within your sales funnel, and measure the effectiveness of your sales strategies. These reports can be customized to provide targeted insights specific to your team's needs.

Different categories of sales pipeline tools

The landscape of sales pipeline tools is vibrant, teeming with diverse options catering to distinct needs and budgets. Here's a glimpse into some of the prominent categories:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems

CRMs serve as the central nervous system of many sales organizations. They manage sales pipelines and encompass functionalities like contact management, lead nurturing, customer service, and marketing automation. CRMs offer a comprehensive suite of tools, making them ideal for organizations seeking a holistic approach to customer relationship management.

Platforms like Salesforce, Formaloo, Hubspot, and Pipedrive provide CRM platforms with a sales pipeline tool embedded. Formaloo CRM helps you build a custom CRM in minutes and share it with your team to use right away. You can use Formaloo forms to generate leads and nurture them in your customized pipeline.

Start for free with this custom CRM template and build up your sales pipeline today.

Sales-specific pipeline management tools

These tools are laser-focused on pipeline management, offering many features specifically designed to optimize the sales funnel. They excel in providing a user-friendly interface tailored explicitly to the visualization and management of sales pipelines.

Software like Salesforce Sales Cloud,,, and Streak lie in this category.

Freemium sales pipeline tools

For startups and small businesses with budgetary constraints, several freemium sales pipeline tools offer a robust core set of functionalities. These tools often provide a limited feature set in their free version, with the option to upgrade for access to more advanced functionalities.

Tools like Formaloo, HubSpot Sales Hub, and Copper provide a free plan so you can test the platform before paying for any plan.

Choosing the right sales pipeline tool hinges on carefully evaluating your specific needs and budget. Consider factors such as the size of your sales team, the complexity of your sales process, and the level of customization required. This free sales pipeline template helps you get started easily and start using your dream sales pipeline today!

What features to look for in a sales pipeline tool

Having explored the various categories of sales pipeline tools, let's delve deeper into some of the transformative features that empower sales teams to achieve peak performance:

Drag-and-drop functionality for intuitive pipeline management

Imagine effortlessly moving deals between pipeline stages with a simple drag-and-drop motion. This intuitive functionality provides a dynamic and visual representation of deal progress, fostering clear communication and transparency within your sales team.

Weighted values to prioritize deals based on revenue potential

Not all deals are created equal. Sales pipeline tools empower you to assign values to deals based on their potential revenue. This enables sales leadership to prioritize efforts and resources, focusing on high-value opportunities with the greatest potential return on investment.

Formaloo logic allows you weight your leads based on different aspects and evaluate them easily. It's a great tool to prioritize your sales deals and focus your efforts on high-value accounts.

Customization capabilities

The best sales pipeline tools offer a high degree of customization. This allows you to tailor pipeline stages to align precisely with your unique sales process. For instance, you might have specific stages for nurturing inbound leads, qualifying marketing qualified leads (MQLs), and negotiating contract terms.

Email integration

Sales pipeline tools with email integration features streamline communication and eliminate the need to toggle between multiple applications. Imagine composing and sending follow-up emails directly within the sales pipeline tool, with all relevant deal information automatically populated within the email.

Mobile accessibility

The world of sales doesn't stop when the workday ends. Mobile-optimized sales pipeline tools empower informed decision-making anywhere, anytime. Access your pipeline, view critical deal information, and even update deal stages while on the go, ensuring you stay connected and in control.

Sales teams can leverage these powerful features to transform their pipelines from static spreadsheets into dynamic ecosystems that fuel informed decision-making and propel sales success.

How sales pipeline tools help you develop data-driven strategies

Gone are the days of relying on gut instinct and anecdotal evidence to guide sales strategies. Sales pipeline tools empower organizations to embrace a data-driven sales culture, where decisions are fueled by insights gleaned from real-time data.

Sales pipeline tools act as data repositories, capturing a wealth of information about your sales process. This data encompasses details such as deal sizes, win/loss ratios, sales cycle lengths, and the effectiveness of various sales activities. By harnessing the power of this data, you can:

Identify sales velocity

Measure the average rate at which deals progress through the pipeline. This metric unveils bottlenecks within your sales process, enabling you to pinpoint areas for improvement and streamline deal flow.

Prioritize high-value deals

Sales pipeline tools empower sales reps to prioritize deals with the highest potential return on investment. This ensures that your top salespeople focus their energy on the deals most likely to yield significant revenue.

Personalize your sales approach

Leverage historical data to identify patterns and trends within your customer base. This empowers you to tailor your sales approach to resonate with specific customer segments, increasing your conversion rates.

Predictive analytics

Some advanced sales pipeline tools integrate with artificial intelligence (AI) to offer predictive analytics capabilities. These features can analyze historical data and current pipeline trends to predict the probability of deal closure. By leveraging these insights, sales reps can prioritize their efforts and allocate resources more effectively.

Territory optimization

Analyze sales data by territory to identify underperforming regions and high-potential markets. This empowers you to optimize resource allocation and tailor your sales strategies to specific geographic regions.

Competitive intelligence

Integrate sales pipeline data with competitive intelligence tools to gain valuable insights into your competitors' offerings and sales strategies. This empowers you to differentiate your product or service and tailor your value proposition to resonate more effectively with your target audience.

A data-driven approach to sales, fueled by insights gleaned from sales pipeline tools, helps organizations achieve superior sales performance and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Selecting the perfect sales pipeline tool for your business

With many sales pipeline tools vying for your attention, navigating the selection process can feel like traversing a labyrinth. However, by carefully considering your specific needs and budget, you can identify the tool that perfectly complements your sales team's workflow.

What to consider when choosing a sales pipeline tool

Here are some key factors to ponder when selecting a sales pipeline tool:

Team size and budget

Freemium options might suffice for nascent startups with a small sales team. Conversely, established organizations with larger teams may require more comprehensive, paid solutions with advanced features and functionalities.

Existing technology stack

Ensure seamless integration with your existing CRM, marketing automation software, and other business tools. Disparate systems can create data silos and hinder workflow efficiency.

Ease of use

A user-friendly interface is paramount for maximizing adoption within your sales team. Opt for tools with intuitive interfaces, robust training materials, and readily available customer support. The best choices are tools like Formaloo that provide live support chat, compelling help articles, blogs, and videos.

Customization capabilities

Does the tool offer the flexibility to tailor pipeline stages, automate workflows, and generate reports that align with your unique sales process? The ability to customize the tool to your specific needs is essential for maximizing its effectiveness.


Consider your future growth trajectory. Will the tool be able to adapt and scale alongside your expanding sales team and evolving needs? Opt for a solution that can accommodate your organization's projected growth.

Other key factors to consider when choosing a sales pipeline tool

By taking a methodical approach and considering the following factors, you can make an informed decision that empowers your sales team:

Free options

Some sales pipeline tools like Formaloo offer free options. Leverage these opportunities to test-drive the functionalities and assess if the tool aligns with your team's needs and preferences.

User reviews and ratings

Research online reviews and ratings from existing users. These insights can provide valuable perspectives on the tool's ease of use, customer support effectiveness, and overall user satisfaction.

Security features

Ensure the sales pipeline tool prioritizes data security. Look for features like role-based access control, data encryption, and robust authentication protocols to safeguard your confidential sales data.

The most effective sales pipeline tool is not a one-size-fits-all solution; you should be able to customize the pipeline based on your needs without any coding. Formaloo allows you customize your pipeline base on your sales processes and customer journey. By carefully evaluating your needs and conducting thorough research, you can select a tool that empowers your sales team to achieve peak performance and propel your organization toward sustained sales success.

What's next: Advanced sales pipeline techniques

Once you've equipped your sales team with the right tool, it's time to delve into advanced techniques to maximize the effectiveness of your sales pipeline. These strategies help you transform your pipeline from a static data repository into a dynamic engine that fuels consistent deal flow and superior sales performance.

Stage-specific activities that propel deals through the pipeline

Don't let deals languish in any one stage of your pipeline. To ensure consistent deal progression, define clear and measurable actions associated with each stage. This might include:

Lead generation stage

Lead generation activities could include attending industry events, cold-calling qualified prospects, or leveraging social media marketing campaigns.

The lead generation stage is the foundation of your sales pipeline, and its effectiveness sets the pace for the entire sales cycle. Here, the focus is on identifying potential customers who exhibit characteristics that align with your ideal customer profile (ICP).

Qualification stage

Tasks in the qualification stage might involve conducting needs assessments, qualifying leads based on pre-defined criteria, and scheduling initial sales meetings. Not all leads are created equal. The qualification stage acts as a filter, separating promising prospects from those unlikely to convert into paying customers. Sales reps typically conduct needs assessments to understand the prospect's specific challenges and pain points.

Proposal stage

This stage might involve crafting compelling proposals highlighting the value proposition and addressing the prospect's specific needs.

The proposal serves as a persuasive document outlining the solution your product or service offers to the prospect's challenges. It should be tailored to resonate with the prospect's specific needs and showcase the unique value proposition that differentiates you from competitors. An effective proposal effectively communicates the return on investment (ROI) the prospect can expect by partnering with your organization.

Negotiation stage

Equip your sales reps with negotiation strategies and empower them to advocate for your product or service while securing favorable terms. Negotiation is an essential part of the sales process, and successful sales reps are skilled at navigating this dance. Equip your team with negotiation strategies to ensure they confidently advocate for the value your product or service offers.

This sales team survey questionnaire template helps you identify how much your sales team knows about these negotiation strategies.

Sales survey questionnaire template

Closure stage

Finalize contracts, collect payments, and onboard new customers to ensure a smooth transition and foster long-term relationships. Closing the deal is the ultimate goal of the sales pipeline. Once the negotiation stage is complete, it's time to finalize contracts, collect payment, and formally welcome the new customer. Activities in this stage could include finalizing contracts, collecting payments, and onboarding new customers to ensure a smooth transition and foster long-term relationships.

Use this account management template to easily track your deals and optimize your sales pipeline.

Lead scoring to prioritize leads with high conversion potential

Not all leads are created equal. Implement a lead scoring system to prioritize leads with the highest potential for conversion. This system assigns points based on various criteria such as the prospect's industry, company size, budget, and level of engagement with your marketing efforts. Your sales reps can maximize their time and resources by focusing on high-scoring leads.

Opportunity management to track deal details

Your sales pipeline is only as effective as the accuracy of the data it contains. Utilize opportunity management features to meticulously track deal details such as:

Contact information

Names, titles, and contact details of key decision-makers within the prospect's organization.

Deal value

The estimated value of the potential sale.


Deadlines, milestones, and estimated closing dates for each deal.

Communication history

Record all interactions with the prospect, including emails, phone calls, and meeting notes.

By meticulously tracking these details, your sales reps can clearly understand each deal's progress and tailor their approach accordingly.

Maintaining pipeline accuracy with sales pipeline hygiene

A stagnant pipeline is a breeding ground for inaccurate data and misleading forecasts. Regularly cleanse your pipeline by removing:

Unqualified leads

Leads that don't meet your pre-defined criteria or have shown a lack of interest.

Stalled deals

Deals that haven't progressed in a significant period. Reassess these deals and determine if they warrant further pursuit.

Outdated information

Ensure all contact information, deal values, and timelines are accurate and up-to-date.

Maintaining pipeline hygiene ensures data integrity and empowers you to make informed decisions based on a realistic picture of your sales potential.

Fostering a culture of continuous improvement with pipeline reviews

Schedule periodic pipeline reviews to analyze trends, identify roadblocks, and celebrate team successes. These reviews can be conducted:

  • Weekly: Brief team huddles to discuss pipeline health, identify immediate concerns, and share best practices.
  • Monthly: In-depth reviews to analyze win/loss ratios, sales cycle lengths, and pipeline velocity. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and refine your sales strategies.

With continuous improvement and open communication around your sales pipeline, you can empower your team to optimize their sales efforts and achieve superior results consistently.

How to leverage your sales pipeline tool and align it for success

While selecting the right sales pipeline tool is a crucial step, it's just the first act in the play toward sales success. To cultivate a consistently thriving sales pipeline and achieve consistent deal flow, ensuring seamless alignment between your sales activities and the chosen tool is paramount.

Imagine a perfectly tuned orchestra—each instrument playing its part in harmonious unison. This analogy perfectly illustrates the importance of aligning your sales and marketing pipelines. You can create a well-oiled machine for lead generation and conversion by ensuring seamless integration and communication between these two departments.

Ensure sales-ready leads with Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)

Marketing and sales don't operate in silos. Clearly define the criteria that qualify a lead as marketing-qualified (MQL). This ensures that leads nurtured by your marketing team are sales-ready and genuinely interested in your product or service. MQL criteria might include the following:

  • Downloading white papers or ebooks related to your industry.
  • Attending industry webinars or events hosted by your company.
  • Requesting a free trial or product demo.

Establishing clear MQL criteria ensures that only qualified leads are passed onto your sales team.

Streamline lead handover with Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)

Foster a collaborative environment by establishing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) between sales and marketing. These agreements outline:

Lead response timeframes

Define the timeframe within which sales reps should follow up on MQLs received from marketing.

Communication protocols

Establish clear communication channels for both teams to share updates, address challenges, and collaborate on nurturing leads through the sales funnel.

Lead scoring collaboration

Marketing and sales should work together to define the lead scoring system, ensuring both teams prioritize leads with the highest conversion potential.

Establishing clear SLAs can eliminate confusion, ensure timely lead follow-up, and streamline the lead nurturing process from initial contact to closed deal.

Nurture leads through the marketing funnel automated workflows

Leverage marketing automation tools to trigger automated workflows that nurture leads based on their position within your marketing funnel. This might involve:

Welcome emails

Send automated welcome emails to new leads, thank them for their interest, and introduce your brand.

Educational content

You can trigger email sequences that deliver educational content relevant to the lead's interests and stage in the buyer's journey.

Targeted promotions

Offering personalized discounts or promotions to leads who have shown a higher level of engagement with your marketing efforts.

By implementing automated workflows, you can nurture leads efficiently, keep your brand top-of-mind, and ultimately convert them into qualified leads ready for the sales team's expertise.

Aligning your sales and marketing pipelines fosters a collaborative environment, ensures efficient lead nurturing, and empowers both teams to achieve their common goal: driving sales and achieving sustainable business growth.

The future of sales pipelines with automation and AI

The future of sales pipelines is brimming with exciting possibilities fueled by the burgeoning fields of automation and artificial intelligence (AI). These advancements promise to revolutionize how sales teams manage their pipelines and optimize their sales strategies.

Leveraging AI for deal closure probability and predictive analytics

Imagine a world where your sales pipeline predicts the likelihood of each deal closing. This is the power of predictive analytics. AI-powered sales pipeline tools can analyze historical data and identify patterns within your sales cycle. By leveraging this data, the tool can:

Predict deal closure probability

Assign a probability score to each deal, empowering sales reps to prioritize their efforts and focus on deals with the highest likelihood of success.

Identify potential roadblocks

Based on historical data and past deals, anticipate potential roadblocks within the sales cycle. Forewarned is forearmed, allowing sales reps to proactively address challenges and increase closing rates.

Formaloo AI helps you analyze your data easily and get valuable insights and identify patterns that help you qualify leads and understand how your sales team is evaluating leads.

Optimize sales strategies

AI can analyze successful deals and identify the common threads. This empowers sales leadership to refine sales strategies and replicate winning behaviors across the entire sales team.

Powered by AI, predictive analytics offers invaluable insights that can transform your sales pipeline from a static data repository into a dynamic crystal ball, illuminating the path toward consistent deal flow and superior sales performance.

Freeing up time for strategic sales activities and smart automation

Sales reps often get bogged down by repetitive tasks like data entry, scheduling meetings, and sending follow-up emails. Smart automation features within sales pipeline tools can alleviate this burden, freeing up valuable time for strategic sales activities. Imagine a tool that can:

Automatically capture data

Eliminate manual data entry by connecting your forms with your CRM and automatically populating relevant deal information within your pipeline.

Using powerful forms of Formaloo, your data capturing process is automatically synced with your CRM and you don't need to take any further step. Formaloo is a great solution to gain insights from your data.

Schedule meetings with a click

Integrate with calendar applications and allow prospects to book appointments directly through your sales pipeline tool to streamline the meeting scheduling process.

Trigger automated email sequences

Craft personalized email sequences triggered based on a prospect's specific actions within your pipeline.

Smart automation helps sales reps become more efficient, reduce administrative burdens, and dedicate more time to building relationships, crafting compelling sales pitches, and closing deals.

AI-powered coaching and conversational intelligence for sales reps

Imagine having a virtual coach whispering sales wisdom in your ear during every customer interaction. Conversational intelligence, powered by AI, is making this a reality. These tools can:

Analyze sales calls

Record and analyze sales calls, identifying areas for improvement in communication style, objection handling, and value proposition articulation.

Offer real-time coaching

Provide real-time feedback during calls, prompting sales reps with relevant talking points and suggesting alternative approaches based on the conversation flow.

Identify coaching needs

Analyze historical call data to pinpoint individual sales rep strengths and weaknesses. This data can be used to tailor coaching programs and empower each rep to achieve their full potential.

Conversational intelligence empowers sales teams to continuously refine their communication skills, adapt their approach based on real-time insights, and ultimately close more deals.

Sales pipeline tools as the catalyst for sales excellence

The journey through the intricacies of sales pipelines has reached its culmination. We've explored the fundamental concepts, unveiled the power of sales pipeline tools, and delved into advanced techniques to unlock their full potential. One resounding truth resonates throughout this exploration: sales pipeline tools are not merely software applications but catalysts for sales excellence.

By equipping your sales team with the right tools, fostering a data-driven sales culture, and embracing advanced strategies, you can transform your sales pipeline from a rudimentary spreadsheet into a dynamic engine that fuels consistent deal flow and propels your organization toward sustained sales success.

Here's a captivating vision of the future:

  • Sales reps empowered by AI-powered insights confidently navigate customer interactions and close deals with laser focus.
  • Marketing and sales teams work perfectly, collaborating seamlessly to nurture leads and convert them into loyal customers.
  • Sales leadership makes data-driven decisions fueled by real-time insights from a robust and well-maintained sales pipeline.

This future is not a distant utopia – it's within your grasp. The transformative power of sales pipeline tools and the advancements offered by automation and AI can empower your sales team to achieve remarkable results and propel your organization to the forefront of your competitive landscape.

So,embrace the power of sales pipeline tools, and watch your sales soar! Start with this free sales pipeline template now and share it with your team today!

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How to choose the right sales pipeline tool